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Archive for September, 2009

 

 

I came home this afternoon to find 4 empty roasted garlic heads laying the middle of the street in front of our house. Some little critter must have got into the garbage and dug those babies out. 

 

 

 

 

Can you blame them??

 

 

 

 

Have you ever thrown away something- cookies, cake, etc – and covered in with a disgusting substance, like soap, to keep yourself from devouring the entire thing? Miranda did this on an episode of Sex and the City once, and though I had thought of it, I had never done it.

 

 

 

 

I tried it once with a pound cake and found myself digging the remains out of the garbage to eat. I cannot be helped.

 

 

 

 

 

I had a large tub of gorgonzola, which now has only about 1/4 cup left since I love it so much I eat, sleep, breathe and bathe in it.

 

 

 

I made these Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Smashed Potatoes pre-gorgonzola bath. Thank goodness!

 

 

 

 

 

I use Yukon Gold’s because they are my favorite potatoes.

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They want to bathe in gorgonzola, too. And luckily for them – they can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used big potatoes and I cut them up so they would boil more quickly.

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I also find them easier to mash when they are smaller.

 

Use cold water so they cook evenly. At least, I think I have heard that before. 

 

 

 

 

Cook until fork tender.

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Paula Deen visited today and brought some of her friends.

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Well – by visiting I mean she visited my TV screen for about 6 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I only add a small amount of butter and heavy cream, just enough to keep it creamy.
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Mash it up.

 

I am constantly at war with my potato masher. I hate it. Can anyone recommend a good one?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next comes the roasted garlic, which should take about 30-45 minutes to prepare. I did it ahead of time.

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And this beautiful pool of gorgonzola.

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Squeeze that roasted garlic from the head and it comes right out.

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I’d like to do a garlic shot right about now. Yum.

 

 

 

 

Once you have added about 6-7 cloves of garlic and 1/3 cup gorgonzola, mash again.

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It has a wonderful texture with the potato skins still inside. AND lots ‘o vitamins – which we need because it cancels out that butter, cheese, and cream I added earlier.

 

My husband jumped on the smashed potato bandwagon years ago. Me, not so much. I just recently came to enjoy it and now this is usually how I make ‘mashed’ potatoes. He’s brought so many wonderful things into my life.

 

 

 

Including those extra 5 lbs now that I’m married and don’t need to try anymore.

 

 

 

 

Just kidding, honey.

 

Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Smashed Potatoes

6-8 large Yukon Baby Gold Potatoes (or whatever you have)

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 entire roasted garlic clove head

1/4 cup gorgonzola

 

 

 

Chop potatoes into smaller pieces so they boil quickly. Add them to a pot with cold water, and set on the stove to come to a boil. Boil for about 20-30 minutes or until fork-tender.  Drain and throw potatoes back in the pot.

Add butter and heavy cream. Mash up, making sure the butter is melted.

Add garlic and gorgonzola. Mash again, leaving a few chunks of cheese and garlic in the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a closer look. Then go make these immediately.

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Wednesday Words.

I had a dream that there were tarantulas all over our house last night. So creepy. I now feel like creepy-crawlers are crawling all over me and I was even afraid to turn my head upside down and dry my hair – for fear that when I looked up a massive tarantula would be staring at me. Does anyone remember Creepy Crawlers?? I think they were something you baked in a mini-oven or mold?? I don’t quite remember.

 

 

 

I twisted my ankle prancing around in my 5 inch heels yesterday. I am NOT taking this as a sign that I am getting old and it’s time to stop wearing heels. That will never happen.

 

 

 

 

This is our fridge. 

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Does anyone else see a problem with this? Besides the sinful amount of cheese?

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My mom made this Chicken Marsala probably once a week as I was growing up, and it is so delicious that I just had to share. Traditionally it is served with mushrooms, but if you’ve been reading along you will remember my dad doesn’t eat mushrooms (they are not a food, they are a fungus), so this Chicken Marsala came freshly plated on Monday or Tuesday evenings sans mushrooms.

 

 

It never came on Thursdays because that was pasta night. And as far as I know, still is pasta night at their house. I never participated because I am not a huge pasta (or tomato sauce) fan. I prefer to get my lycopene in other forms – like Bloody Mary’s.

 

 

 

For once in my life I followed her recipe exactly.

 

 

That is, until I remembered a Chicken Marsala dish that I had one night in college at a tiny restaurant on Mount Washington. I don’t remember the name, but I remember the food. So I had to add my personal touch to the dish.

 

 

 

Begin with chicken TENDERS. Tenders people – not breasts.

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For some reason I find this raw meat a bit more offensive than my previous post.

 

 

 

 

I love this meat tenderizer. It is from Pampered Chef and I received it as a wedding shower gift. 

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Please go order one of these now. It tenderizes meat like nothing I’ve ever seen. And no, Rachael Ray – smacking the meat with a frying pan does NOT tenderize the meat, at least not in my experience. Not like this guy.

 

 

 

 

The key is to tenderize BOTH sides. 

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So hit it once, then flip each piece over and hit ’em again. They get very, very thin.

 

 

 

 

 

I created a mixture of flour, salt, pepper and my boyfriend, smoked paprika.

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The smoked paprika was my addition to the recipe, but it didn’t add as much smokiness as I anticipated.

 

 

 

 

I added 3 whole garlic cloves to my skillet, along with about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.

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I  probably would have minced the cloves, but per my mom’s suggestion I added them whole. I am so glad I did.

 

 

 

 

Dredge both sides of the chicken tenders in the flour mixture.

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You want to add a thick coat of flour so some residual flour stays in the pan – it helps to thicken the sauce later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saute for about 2-3 minutes on each side, just to brown the chicken.

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Then remove and let drain on a paper towel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To make the sauce, I add Marsala wine and some chicken stock.

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Also, a few additional teaspoons of flour may be needed to thicken the sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a side note, check out that garlic.

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 What a beauty! Not as yummy as these, though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additions of the Marsala and chicken stock, and my favorite ingredient…

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Cinnamon! A few years back I had this dish and it had a hint of cinnamon in it. It was amazing. Amazing enough for me to still taste it.

 

 

 

Let the sauce come to a boil so it can thicken a bit.

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Then begin layering the chicken back in the skillet.

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After baking for about an hour, it comes out so tender and juicy. IMG_1121

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I lived at home, the hour that the chicken was baking was the longest. hour. ever.

 

The house smelled so good and I was always starving as usual. I wish time went that slowly as we got older, don’t you?

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure that mushrooms would be a delicious addition, but I just can’t imagine the dish with them. Possibly because this is a comfort dish for me? 

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I must say I am suprised that I have never added mushrooms, since I carmelizes a plethora of them every week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Marsala Sans Mushrooms

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, whole

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup Marsala wine

1 cup chicken stock

 

 

Preheat oven to 350.

Pound chicken tenders on both sides to tenderize. Heat skillet on medium heat and add 3 tablespoons olive oil and 3 garlic cloves. 

Mix flour, salt, pepper and smoked paprika together. Dredge chicken through flour mixture, coating both sides. Add chicken to skillet and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. Do not cook through. Remove chicken and let drain on a paper towel.  You may need to do this in batches if your skillet is not very large.

After the last batch of chicken has been removed, turn up the heat to medium-high and add Marsala, chicken stock and cinnamon. Let come to a boil. You may also need to add a few teaspoons of flour to thicken the mixture – it is your preference.

Add chicken back in skillet and cover. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

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Grown-Up Chores I Hate.

 

 

Yes. I am posting a picture of a potty.

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Yes. One in my house. See that beautiful ring around the water? I guess it’s time to clean the toilets.

 

 

This would rank up there as my most despised grown-up chore.

 

 

 

And yes, I may have been a spoiled brat and never had to scrub the inside of a toilet in my younger years. And when I lived here, I never touched the toilet because I was afraid of the infectuous diseases I may catch. I popped alot of squats.

 

 

 

How often are you even supposed to clean toilets? I clean them after about 3 weeks of seeing this ring. But it is usually just because I’m afraid something is going to jump up and bite me. Like some kind of fungus monster.

 

 

 

For those of you that will probably never visit again since I just posted a dirty toilet on my potential food blog, please note that I live with 1 man, and have 2 brothers that frequently visit.

 

 

That should explain it. And please send help.

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Kema.

 

 

This is my good friend Kema.

 

 

 Everyone say ‘Hi Kema!!!’

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Ok, yes I know that second picture is not the best quality and kind of blurry. But I have good reason as I had to lie, cheat and steal to get this picture.

 

 

 

 

Not really. But it took a long time of badgering Kema for her to finally give me this photo.

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t she gorgeous? This picture was taken on her wedding day (duh. unless she dresses up in gowns to get her picture taken) in the Bahamas 3 years ago. She really is a beautiful person inside and out. Her personality is contagious.

 

 

 

I heart her.

 

 

 

 

I began training Kema in early 2008.

 

  

I beat the crap out of her. In a nice, safe way. She can attest.

 

 

 

 

 

We spent many evenings together and soon became great friends. This girl is awesome. She is a labor & delivery nurse, bringing beautiful, teeny-weeny babies into the world everyday.

 

 

 

 

She once told me that when I come to give birth, she will refuse to give me any pain medication as payback for all of the workouts I’ve put her through.

 

 

 

 

Now that’s not very nice.

 

 

  

  

Kema and her hubby went back to the Bahamas this June for some R & R.

 

 

 

 

 

She totally deserved it.

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 Don’t ya think?

 

 

 

 

This girl has worked harder than MANY people I know. She is my motivation now. 

 

Surgery-free. Made with blood, sweat and tears. She took off over 120 lbs.

 

 

 

I just wanted to share a bit of her story with you.

 

 

 

 

Check out that rockin’ new bod she now owns.

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And I’m sure she will still be rockin’ that bod someday as I scream with labor pains while she denies me an epidural.

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Roasted Garlic.

 

We have an abundance of garlic at home and I barely scraped the surface by roasting some yesterday.

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If you’ve never had it, it comes out so carmelized and sweet – it is absolutely delicious. I made a good amount so there are a few roasted garlic recipes to come this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut off the top half – a little less than 1/4 of the garlic head.

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I wanted to take off most of the ‘paper’ around the garlic and just leave a light layer.

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By rubbing back and forth it came off very easily, as opposed to trying to peel it all away.

 

 

 

 

 

However, I was left with this mess.

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It was totally worth it. 🙂

 

 

 

Beautiful garlic. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t like it? I only know a few.

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But I’d like to meet more, so I can make you this roasted garlic and change your mind.

 

 

I prefer to not get chunks of garlic in my meals, so I like to mince it or use the press.

 

 

 

Using a couple tablepoons of olive oil,  I pour a teaspoon or so on each garlic head and let it soak.

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I roasted the garlic in the oven for about 45 minutes. It smelled heavenly!

 

 

 

 

When it is finished, it looks like this: 

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You can squeeze the carmelized cloves right out of the garlic head. They can be eaten alone, spread on toasted french bread, or spread on filet.

 

 

 

Is your mouth watering? 

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I know it may sound weird to eat garlic cloves straight, and believe me I was a bit skeptical. But you’ve gotta try it!

 

 

 

 

 

It is sweet and delicious.

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Here is some roasted garlic mash that I promptly devoured after snapping it’s glamour shot.

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Roasted Garlic

6 heads of garlic

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

 

Preheat oven to 375. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Lightly rub back and forth to remove paper and peel any excess paper off. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top the garlic cloves and let soak for 10 minutes.

 

Cover with foil and roast in a baking dish for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. To eat or add to recipe: let cool, then squeeze from the bottom of the garlic head to remove carmelized cloves.

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Summer’s End.

Summer is coming to a close here in good ‘ol Pittsburgh.  The weekend was rainy and the forecast for the week is in the 60’s.

 

 

 

My most favorite time of year!

 

 

 

 

I do not like heat and do not like to be hot unless there is water near by. I sweat like a man – for real. Ask my husband.

 

 

 

 

He knows better than to take me on a date where there is heat, sun and no sight of a swimming pool or ocean near by. Like a baseball game.

 

 

 

 

Ok, who am I kidding? Are people still even going to see the Pirates play anymore? Anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

I love to go to PNC Park, but usually just for the food. Shocking, I know.

 

 

 

 

 

I made one of my most favorite ‘summer’ foods today – guacamole. 

 

 

Yes, here in PA it has to be a ‘summer’ food, unless you are willing to pay $12 for an avocado at Whole Paycheck Foods. Which I may be. We will see.

 

 

 

 

 

I am sure my recipe is no different from many others. I love making guac – I just love chopping food up and throwing it all together.

 

 

 

 

 

These babes had seen better days.

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They were VERY ripe. Almost non-usable ripe.

 

 

 

But I didn’t let that happen.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are my guacamole additions:

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Look at that gorgeous avocado meat. Yum.

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So creamy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was tempted to spoon out these chunks onto warm toast.

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Divine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I chop about 1/4-1/2 of a red onion.

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I was a little teary here. I rarely cry when chopping onions, but when it hits, it’s BAD. As in black mascara all down face. I’m glad that didn’t happen because I was craving some guacamole at 9am. So I made it before going to church. Who does that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avocado and onion:

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I squeeze most of the juice out of the tomato before I chop. I prefer not to have tomato juice and seeds in my guac. 

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It’s just how I roll.

 

 

 

 

 

Tomato, onion, and avocado:

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Ah – look at this beauty. This is a big jalapeno pepper. 

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I like it hot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I scraped the seeds out and used 1/4 of this pepper.

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Beautiful. Juicy.

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Like my thighs. 

 

 

 

 

 

It even looks delicious here.

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I’m tempted to grab a blue corn chip and dip in.

 

 

 

 

If I had any left, that is. Someone ate it all. My husband doesn’t like avocado. Or at least he thinks he doesn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I use the juice of one lime, freshly squeezed.

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Bring on the margaritas!

 

 

 

 

 

I think the addition of the lime adds such a kick.

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And I juiced this one out.

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Add some fresh chopped cilantro to the mix, and we’re ready to roll.

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Do you like cilantro? I hear it’s about 50/50. Some people love it, others think it tastes like dish soap. I’ve never had dish soap, but if it tastes like cilantro, bring it on!

 

 

 

 

 

I give it a rough mash with a fork, but then choose to make this guac a bit more creamy.

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Guac with a sweet potato chip.

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My favorite dippers are blue corn chips. We have been going through them at an ungodly rate recently. I think I have a problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I loved this guac so much I decided to take him for a ride.

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Yes, that would be the front seat of my car. I told you I have no patience.

 

 

 

 

 


Summer Guacamole

4 ripe avocados

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 jalepeno, chopped

1/2 tomato, chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 lime, juice

 

 

Scoop out avocado meat. Add chopped vegetables to the mix. Squeeze in fresh lime juice. Serve with chips. 

 

 

 

 

 

Or eat in car.

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